March 3, 2017

The Samsung Galaxy S8’s bezel-less display could be called ‘Infinity Display’

We’re looking forward to the full debut of the Samsung Galaxy S8 later this month, but ahead of that reveal, we’re still getting plenty of new information about the device. As we’ve seen in multiple leaks, and as Samsung has basically confirmed itself, the Galaxy S8 is going to come with a nearly bezel-less display. […]

December 12, 2013

Former head of patents at Google is new interim head of US Patent & Trademark Office

Google’s former head of patents Michelle Lee has been named as the interim head of the USPTO, starting work there on 13th January, reports Yahoo! Finance. Although technically Lee is deputy director, the agency hasn’t had a director since David Kappos left back in February, meaning that Lee will be running the show for the immediate […]

April 25, 2013

Google details how Glass could look like traditional sunglasses using see-through displays

We already knew that future generations of Google’s Glass headset would include prescription frames and lenses in addition to rumors of the company working with trendy designers to make the frames more fashionable. Today we get a hint at some of the ideas Google is floating around for future iterations of the hardware via a […]

March 28, 2013

Google’s latest camera patent features GPS tech that auto-adjusts settings to weather

Patents don’t always become reality, but they—such as Google’s latest camera settings patent— are certainly an interesting look into the possible future.

As reported by Engadget, a new Google patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes a method of using GPS technology to auto-adjust a camera’s settings. The GPS would gather data for local climate and tune the camera’s white balance and saturation, for instance, to match the weather.

For those interested, the patent’s legalese abstract follows:

Disclosed herein is a method for capturing an image using an image capture device equipped with a processor. The method includes receiving an electromagnetic signal transmitted from a remote station, determining a location of the image capture device based on the received electromagnetic signal, establishing communication over a network between the image capture device and a remote server, transmitting a request to the remote server for weather information pertaining to the determined location; receiving the weather information, determining an ambient lighting value based on the weather information, capturing an image using the image capture device, and processing the captured image using the determined ambient lighting value.

Photographers can fine-tune their own settings now, obviously, but Google’s patent is an interesting spin on GPS and camera settings. Marrying the two functions together would certainly create new, appealing technology for snapping beautiful images in rain or shine and on the fly.

October 3, 2012

Google patent filing illustrates Google Glass-like smart watch

Another day, another patent filing. Better yet—another watch patent. Between the Pebble, Sony, Nike, and even Apple’s spin on the wearable Nano, there are plenty of smart watches going around these days. Google—however—wants to kick it up a notch. A new patent surfaced recently that depicts a Mountain View-branded wristwatch with Google Glass-like capabilities. The […]

August 17, 2012

USPTO publishes Google patent for 3D video conferencing on a laptop

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that illustrates the search giant is developing technology for a computing device, such a laptop, that will boast dual cameras with 3D video conferencing as the main function.

Patent Bolt explained:

  • Google’s specific example goes like this: the computing notebook with the dual cameras could be used by a first user to produce a stereoscopic image of, for example, the first user during a video conference session when while in the notebook’s stereoscopic mode. In some instances, the stereoscopic image could be displayed locally and/or sent to a remote computing device via the video conference session.
  • If a second user joins the video conferencing session in the same room as the first user, the notebook could be changed from a stereoscopic mode to that of a multi-image mode so that separate images of the first user and the second user could be used during the video conferencing session.

It is worth noting stereoscopy is otherwise known as 3D imaging. Most stereoscopic techniques present two offset images independently to the left and right eye of the viewer, but the brain combines them to give the perception of 3D depth.

Patent Bolt further contextualized the multi-image mode:

  • In Google’s example of this invention used in a video conferencing context, two people in one office could be both using the same notebook during the conference for the sake of simple communications. They could be sitting across the table from each other with one camera facing one participant and the other camera pointed to the back of the notebook to view the second participant. The party on the other end of the conference would simply see two side-by-side boxes on their screen as if the individuals were actually sitting side by side. For home users it could be handy application when there’s only one household notebook.

Get the full report and more images at Patent Bolt.

Google, Samsung join Apple and other adversaries to buy Kodak patents, perhaps signaling intent to curtail litigation

It must be a cold day in Hell. Google and Samsung are consorting with Apple, LG Electronics, and various ventures and firms to bid as a group on Kodak’s intellectual property.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in January, according to The Wall Street Journal, and it is looking to auction its patents to raise money for surviving a Chapter 11 court protection. Kodak could barter all 1,100 digital photography-based patents or end the auction without a deal, as the company announced it would name the winning bidders on Monday but eventually pushed the deadline upon talking with creditors.

The Wall Street Journal explained:

  • Negotiations and the bidding group’s composition are fluid, the people said. If the consortium reaches a deal to buy some or all of Kodak’s patents, they would essentially be kept out of any one company’s hands and could prevent consortium members from using them in litigation against each other. A deal, however, could also attract attention from federal antitrust regulators.
  • A deal for the entire portfolio—one of many options under discussion— could fetch more than $500 million based on recent negotiations, people familiar with the process said. That is well above opening bids when the auction started last week, but far below the $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion Kodak at one point said the patents could be worth.
  • In a statement Thursday, Kodak said discussions with buyers are active and that it isn’t ready to announce a result. The company added that it might decline to sell some or all of the patents, depending on how the auction progresses.

Photography and cameras are obviously a main feature of mobile devices. Competitors in the tech arena have joined forces in the past to snatch up attractive patents, but The Wall Street Journal noted it is “unusual for them all to join the same camp.”

Patent law whiz Michael Carrier, of Rutgers University in Camden, said the companies would not suffer antitrust issues if the tech giants commit to licensing on reasonable rates. Otherwise, an action such as dividing the patents without sharing the rights to use them could likely meet legal trouble down the road.

Get the full report at The Wall Street Journal.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

August 16, 2012

USPTO publishes Google’s ‘Speak to Tweet’ patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office just published a Google patent for “Speak to Tweet,” which is a service that allows users to communicate on Twitter by dialing an international phone number and then leaving a tweet by way of voice message. Google developed “Speak to Tweet” in response to the 2011 Egyptian revolution Internet shutdown.

Patentbolt explained:

In January 2011 Google acquired a small company called SayNow. Google, with the assistance of their newly acquired SayNow team worked night and day with Twitter so as to quickly develop a product called “Speak to Tweet.” The service was developed to help people stay connected in times when they were unable to find a viable Internet connection. The inspiration for this application was born during the Egyptian revolution. As a reaction to protests in Cairo, the Egyptian government shut down the Internet throughout that country on January 26, 2011. Technically, Speak to Tweet (or speak2tweet) is a communications service that allows users to leave a “tweet” on Twitter by calling a designated international phone number and leaving a voice message. Recently, the US Patent Office published the patent that’s behind the Speak to Tweet service.

Head of the Google Cultural Institute Steve Crossan originally filed the patent application in Q1 2012. Check it out here.

[Image via Patentbolt]

June 19, 2012

USPTO grants Project Glass trackpad patent for Google Glasses [Video]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oPRJh3eCjA&feature=youtube_gdata] The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just granted Project Glass a patent that protects the trackpad feature of Google Glasses. Google co-founder Sergey Brin appeared with his wife, Anne Wojcicki, on California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s Current TV show last month to briefly let the politician demo a pair of Google Glasses. During “The […]

May 22, 2012

Google Glasses granted host of new patents, competition quickly gaining speed

Google just got its hands on four more Project Glass-based patents this morning. As discovered by Engadget, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patents this morning that detail the majority of Google Glasses’ right-side. The eye-hovering camera and its inner-workings hidden within the spectacle rim were successfully patented, as well as the nose-bridge sensor, […]

February 20, 2012

Google TV remote patent reveals Siri-like, location-based voice navigation for live television

Google is on a roll these days in regards to interesting patent filings. The company filed a patent for Android’s pattern unlock feature in November, and a new filing suggests more unlocking methods with one involving voice recognition and the other based on a two-icon methodology. Today, Patently Apple pointed to another document the search […]

February 19, 2012

Groklaw: Oracle’s case against Google dwindles down to a minute fraction of its original $6B

As Jason Kincaid pointed out, Groklaw did a thorough post on the state of the Oracle Java suite. The short version: Oracle will be lucky to get $100 million let alone the $6 billion it was originally after. Oracle has told the court it wishes to withdraw its last claim of the ‘476 patent, claim 14, no doubt […]

December 26, 2011

USPTO rejects Oracle’s patent claim on Google Android

The United States Patent and Trademark office delivered a final rejection to Google at the expense of Oracle. According to Groklaw, the USPTO issued the rejection Dec. 20 in the reexamination of Oracle’s U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476. Each claim of the patent was subject to reexamination, including Claim 14, which was the only claim asserted […]

November 18, 2011

Google patents Android pattern unlock

One of the treats that immediately set apart the first version of Android from Apple’s iOS software (besides the notification center invoked with a pulldown gesture) is the pattern unlock feature on the lock screen. Whereas Apple opted for a slide gesture (“We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket”, said Steve […]

January 1, 2015

What we expect to see from Google in 2015

It has been a pretty exciting year for Google in a lot of ways. Android Wear has started to ignite excitement behind the future of wearable technology, the best version of Android ever—dubbed Lollipop—was released, a couple of brand new Nexus devices (one of which we leaked) came to fruition, and the Mountain View corporation’s new […]

January 27, 2015

Don’t believe the unbelievers; Google Glass is alive and well

Be sure to also read part 2: Don’t believe the unbelievers (Part 2); Google Glass has succeeded through Glass at Work After seeing the countless doomsday articles over the last couple of weeks, I can’t help but wonder whether or not Google regrets the way they announced the retirement of the Glass Explorer Program and graduation […]

April 15, 2014

Trademark filings reveal Samsung Galaxy Adore, Galaxy S Fitness and Galaxy V:

Perhaps banking some names for a rainy day, Samsung has filed trademarks for three unannounced devices. Found lurking in the USPTO’s database are entries for the Samsung Galaxy Adore, Galaxy S Fitness and Galaxy V: (not to be confused with the Galaxy S5). So, what’s the deal with this odd trio? It’s really hard to tell, but it won’t stop us from taking a guess.

November 30, 2015

New Samsung patents reveal foldable and scrollable smartphone/tablet designs

A patent recently published by the USPTO and unearthed by Patently Mobile reveals Samsung could have plans to design and build foldable, bendable and scrollable devices with various designs. Of course, the technology underpinning this entire exploration is a flexible display, which made it in to mainstream smartphones a couple of years ago with the Galaxy […]

July 1, 2015

Samsung trademark filing for ‘S6 Edge+’ suggests larger-screened Galaxy S6 Edge

A new trademark filing with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) seems to suggest that Samsung might be considering creating a larger-screened version of its Galaxy S6 Edge, the dual-curved variant of the flagship Galaxy S6.

October 17, 2014

Former Googler Michelle Lee nominated to lead US patent office

The Obama Administration recently nominated former Google patent counsel lead Michelle Lee to be the new director of the Patent and Trademark Office. The position has been vacant for nearly two years and Lee who has been occupying her time as the current deputy director of the USPTO is now pending Senate approval. The government has been working […]

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